Vols counting on Carr

InsideTennessee brings you the best Tennessee Vols news and stories. Scroll down to read about Jason Carr and how he'll be used during his sophomore season.

Defensive lineman Jason Carr became all too familiar with Butch Jones' microphone antics during his freshman season.

Countless times during the fall, Jones lifted his microphone to his grinning face and dubbed the former Scout four-star "the softest player ever to come out of Memphis."

Jones' jab may seem tough, but Tennessee's second-year headman will tell you he did it only because he sees "great potential" in the 6-foot-5, 285-pounder.

"I love Jason Carr. I'm his biggest fan," Jones told InsideTennessee. "You do that to a kid to let him know you expect more and to let him know you know he has more in the tank. When I look at Jason Carr, I see so much potential. He just needed help discovering it. He just needed time."

For Carr, time is up. Tennessee coaches are counting on Carr as he enters his sophomore season.

"We're going to need him to play," Tennessee defensive line coach Steve Stripling told IT.

Carr appeared mostly in mop-up duty last season. He recorded his only tackle in the second half against Oregon and played a handful of minutes in the Western Kentucky and Austin Peay contests.

Stripling said Carr needs to have a big offseason in the weight room to make a push into the playing rotation.

"He has to develop," Stripling said. "You know, just grow and get bigger and stronger."

Stripling is hoping a full offseason in the weight room will help Carr improve his physicality, which a lack there of was the main reason he caught so much flak from Jones during the fall.

"He's going to have to get more physical and learn how to strain on every play," Stripling said. "He just needs to be more consistent, then he'll be fine."

Carr, who was one of the bigger coups by Jones and his staff in the 2013 class as the Vols fended off a January push from Alabama to hold onto him, is a part of an inexperienced defensive line group.

While the services of Corey Miller, Marlon Walls, Daniel McCullers and Jacques Smith will certainly be missed, Jones said Carr learned lots from those now graduated Vols.

"Jason took the mentoring he got from those seniors very seriously," Jones told IT. "He was always looking to learn and ask questions. That's very, very important for a young person."

Now, it's only a matter of turning that mentoring and learning into results on the field.

"If Jason progresses like he did last year, he'll be a big piece for us," Stripling said.

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